LIAA President Farewell Message
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Posted by: Kathryn Harrison
Fellow Lauder Alumni,
I want to thank you for the opportunity and honor to serve as President of the Lauder Institute Alumni Association (LIAA) over the last three years. Our board took office fresh from the excitement of the 30th Anniversary Lauder Global Alumni Weekend in 2013 with the mission to:
1) Create connection across alumni of diverse years, industries and geographies
2) Provide opportunities for professional development, networking, and education
3) Help alumni stay connected to activities and developments at the Lauder Institute
The LIAA is a volunteer run organization, and over the last three years the board members have worked tirelessly to re-imagine the alumni experience. The class captain network and regional chairs helped make it easy to connect with classmates and those nearby. Their hard work brought together over 1,800 alumni and supported more than 50 events in cities across the world from New York to London to Mexico City to San Francisco to Singapore. New traditions include the Alumni Welcome for each new class in New York City, the LIAA European Forum, and professional development webinars and seminars.
The capstone of our board tenure was the Lauder Global Alumni Weekend, which took place in New York City in October 2016. With over 900 participants, the alumni community came together to celebrate our passion for Lauder with stimulating panel discussions, the first Lauder Pitch It business competition, and, of course, an incredible gala under the Blue Whale at the American Museum of Natural History. Congratulations and thank you again to the LGAW leadership team- Annie Wang, Nick Majka, Daniel Smith and their team of over 90 volunteers for making the weekend such a success.
Throughout it all, the LIAA Board Directors have worked tirelessly to strengthen the Lauder community. Katherine D’Urso ‘98, Mayra Rodriguez Valladares ‘95, and Eyal Kaplan ‘90 provided strategic guidance to the Board’s activities. Henry Detering ‘04 supported gatherings around the world in his role as Social Chair. Paul Aris’87 launched the professional development program which fosters lifelong learning for the alumni body. Matthew Axelrod’11, serving as Sustainability Chair, forged a strategic plan to ensure LIAA’s long term success, and Leo Navarro’11 spent countless hours stewarding the Association through rapid growth and expansion over the last three years as our Treasurer. A sincere thank you to this dedicated group for your hard work and unending Lauder enthusiasm as you transformed this organization.
I am pleased to announce the LIAA Board has appointed Steven Minsky’91 as President and Charles Klein’91 as Treasurer to lead the next board. Over the next few weeks, they will share their vision for the future of the LIAA as well as the timeline for the LIAA Board general election. I encourage you to connect with Steven and Charles to share your feedback and engage with the LIAA community as a Board Member, a local volunteer or even simply as a participant at future LIAA events.
In the last three years, my Lauder education has been substantially enriched and extended as I worked with alumni from every generation and geography. I am convinced that the Lauder alumni community is the greatest asset in my education, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute and connect so directly with all of you. I wish the incoming board great success as they continue to strengthen our alumni family.
With Lauder Love,